Alexandra Elbakyan, the founder of the famous research paper vault Sci-Hub, claims that Apple told her that it had sent the FBI information about her account.
Elbakyan made the claim in a week-old tweet that went unnoticed for longer than you would expect, considering that Apple and the FBI have a history of disagreement about whether the bureau should be able to spy on Apple customers’ devices.
received a few minutes ago to my GMail. at first I thought it was a spam and was about to delete the email, but it turned out to be about FBI requesting my data from Apple pic.twitter.com/rbWMLGtGcp— Alexandra Elbakyan (@ringo_ring) May 7, 2021
The Register has asked Apple if it sends emails like the one described in Elbakyan’s tweet, and if so, At the time of publication, the firm has not replied.
Elbakyan is a well-known activist. Sci-Hub argues that its harvesting and publishing of scientific articles advances discovery faster than studies conducted by paywall-using papers.
However, opponents of the site, including the City of London Police, have previously claimed that Sci-Hub is more interested in harvesting researchers’ credentials than in open science.
A university officer in charge of promoting data-sharing among faculty and other institutions told The Register that credential harvesting provides the possibility of accessing research that universities perform for commercial or government clients, and that such research may be very useful to foreign governments or corporate espionage practitioners.
Whatever the true nature of Sci-Hub, it is worth mentioning that Elbakyan’s email references an Apple account – most definitely her iCloud account, not a device. It also discusses “information” without specifying what was sought or what was offered.
Former Sun CEO, data-harvester, Trump supporter, and sometime pro golf caddie Scott McNealy has responded to Elbakyan’s allegations, according to The Register.
You have NO privacy. Get over it or vote for a smaller government.— Scott McNealy (@scottmcnealy) May 8, 2021